13 Cars, two Semis Slide Off U
13 Cars, two Semis Slide Off U.S. Seventy five in Collin County
By Frank Heinz
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13 Cars, two Semis Involved in Collin County Pileup
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A snowstorm that closed schools and halted traffic across North Texas is being blamed for thirteen cars and two tractor-trailers sliding off U.S. Highway seventy five in Melissa, north of Dallas, Friday morning.
As many as forty vehicles were originally reported to have slipped off the slick highway, some of them crashing into each other, inbetween Melissa and Throckmorton roads. At about one p.m., two hours after the crashes were reported, NBC five confirmed with officials that only thirteen cars and two tractor-trailers were involved.
“We had one or two vehicles involved in a crash, then we had several vehicles attempting to avoid that accident, those went off the road,” DPS Sgt. Lonny Haschel said. “The majority of them are not going to be car crashes, vehicles that just simply glided off the road and need a wrecker.”
Initial reports from The Texas Department of Transportation said no injuries were reported, but NBC five has learned two people were hospitalized for minor injuries.
Collin County officials told NBC five that the crashes were caused by separate collisions where drivers lost control of their vehicles and not one large pileup.
NBC five viewer Dennis Day told NBC five he spotted at least one car that had been struck numerous times.
Roads were expected to remain treacherous well into Saturday.
Snow, Ice Makes Fort Worth Mixmaster a Mess
Problems plagued highways in Fort Worth as snow and ice was the main culprit.
In Fort Worth, officials closed the Interstate thirty and Interstate 35W Mixmaster due to road conditions.
Several inches of snow began falling in North Texas after eight a.m. Friday. The winter weather has covered roadways, making driving treacherous. Drivers are urged to use extreme caution.
At 11:00 a.m. Friday, I-30 was covered with a layer of snow. One SUV spun out of control and sat stranded in the middle of the highway. A person got out and unsuccessfully attempted to shove the car.
By Four:00 p.m., overpasses became almost impassable at the mix master. Two tractor trailers became stuck attempting to go up an incline on the I30/I35 exchange. Emergency crews had to tow the trucks over the ice.
At 8:00 p.m. I-30 still had a layer of snow that covered parts of the highway. People continued to drive cautiously as night fell. Many cars were left stranded on the side of the road after a busy day for emergency crews. Fort Worth police responded to well over two hundred accidents across the day.
The Fort Worth Police Department reported as of 7:30 p.m. officers had worked one hundred sixty minor accidents, fifty seven major accidents and took twenty five hit and run reports since midnight.
Powerful Snow Causes Dicey Driving Conditions in Denton
In Denton, many drivers were stranded for hours. Some even gave up, turned around and headed the wrong way on entrance ramps.
Several semi-trucks were stuck on I-35E since rush hour attempting to get through slick catches sight of.
Good Samaritans towed some of those semis with their Jeeps and 4x4s.
“This stud is loaded with about 80,000 lbs so we’re having problems, his airbrakes had locked up on his trailer, so we’re fighting to get him out now, but we’ll get him out,” said Dustin Hall with Texas Anytime Recovery.
Hall’s group helped for free.
Dangerous Road Conditions in Arlington
In Arlington, snow and ice covered I-20 at S.H. Three hundred sixty leaving drivers stuck for hours.
Ice also caused trouble for drivers making their way from the S.H. Three hundred sixty rank to I-20 east toward Dallas. A big equipment got stuck causing problems for drivers behind him and tieing up traffic for some time.
The Arlington Police Department said inbetween the hours of midnight and 7:45 p.m. the city had seen thirty four minor accidents, thirty three major accidents and one hundred fifteen calls for assistance.
Many school districts announced early release and closures Friday, including some who have suspended bus service. Get the latest on school closings and delays here.
NBC Five’s Scott Gordon contributed to this report.